Judges 14:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 14:16, NIV: Then Samson's wife threw herself on him, sobbing, 'You hate me! You don't really love me. You've given my people a riddle, but you haven't told me the answer.' 'I haven't even explained it to my father or mother,' he replied, 'so why should I explain it to you?'

Judges 14:16, ESV: And Samson’s wife wept over him and said, “You only hate me; you do not love me. You have put a riddle to my people, and you have not told me what it is.” And he said to her, “Behold, I have not told my father nor my mother, and shall I tell you?”

Judges 14:16, KJV: And Samson's wife wept before him, and said, Thou dost but hate me, and lovest me not: thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people, and hast not told it me. And he said unto her, Behold, I have not told it my father nor my mother, and shall I tell it thee?

Judges 14:16, NASB: So Samson’s wife wept in front of him and said, 'You only hate me, and you do not love me; you have proposed a riddle to the sons of my people, and have not told it to me.' And he said to her, 'Behold, I have not told it to my father or mother; so should I tell you?'

Judges 14:16, NLT: So Samson's wife came to him in tears and said, 'You don't love me; you hate me! You have given my people a riddle, but you haven't told me the answer.' 'I haven't even given the answer to my father or mother,' he replied. 'Why should I tell you?'

Judges 14:16, CSB: So Samson's wife came to him, weeping, and said, "You hate me and don't love me! You told my people the riddle, but haven't explained it to me.""Look," he said, "I haven't even explained it to my father or mother, so why should I explain it to you? "

What does Judges 14:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Samson's new Philistine bride will be fully wed to him at the end of a seven-day feast (Judges 14:1–3; 10). When Samson makes an unfair wager with his thirty assigned bridegrooms, they become frustrated and threaten the bride with death if she doesn't bring them the answer to Samson's challenge (Judges 14:11–15).

As one might expect, the woman agrees to betray Samson to her fellow Philistines. She probably felt she had no choice. To get the answer, she employs a technique which proves extremely effective (Judges 16:15–16) against a man like Samson: she cries. That brief description does not mean she "merely" sheds tears. As her words here suggest, the new bride is applying a great deal of emotion and manipulation. She accuses Samson of mistreating her and her family.

At first, Samson refuses to be controlled. He hasn't even told his own parents the answer to the riddle—so why would he tell her? This is a logical answer, but not necessarily a flattering one. Nor does it speak well of Samson's attitude towards this marriage. Samson is declaring more love and loyalty for his parents than for her. Naturally, he has only recently met her, and they are not fully wed. Yet it also reveals that Samson's desire for his wife is not based in a godly understanding of marriage (Genesis 2:24). This union is not about cooperation and partnership, at least for Samson.